“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of those shows you can do just about anything with because, well, it’s a dream.
Last year, Intrepid Shakespeare Company decided to try a doo-wop musical version. Directed by Christy Yael-Cox and Colleen Kollar (who also did the choreography), it was such a hit that it’s back, with a slightly different cast. Get your tickets now.
You know the plot: A young Athenian couple, Hermia (Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman) and Lysander (Edred Utomi) want to marry, but Hermia’s father Egeus (John Tessmer), asserting his fatherly right, has decreed that she will marry his choice, Demetrius (Benjamin Cole) or die.
Hermia and Lysander decide to flee to the woods, where they can escape Athenian law and be together.
Hermia’s best girlfriend Helena (Rin Ehlers) has boyfriend trouble: none. She’s crazy about the above-mentioned Demetrius, who wants nothing to do with her. But when Hermia tells her buddy about the plot to flee Athens, Helena decides to go too, knowing that Demetrius will follow Hermia (yeah, Helena’s not too bright in this department).
These woods are populated by the King and Queen of fairies and their respective entourages, who just happen to be feuding. Oberon (David McBean) covets the changeling boy Titania (Jacquelyn Ritz) has raised from infancy, on request of his dying mother. She refuses, singing a terrific “You Don’t Own Me;” that refusal will precipitate the fun that is to follow.
Oberon gets his henchman Puck (an amazingly tattooed Kevin Hafso-Koppman, sans shirt) to bring him a flower with magical properties: sprinkling a little of its potion into the eyes of a sleeper will cause that person to fall in love with the first creature seen on waking, human or not.
There’s another group in the forest just now: a group of “mechanicals” (laborers), who have decided to enter a contest whose winner will present an entertainment at the wedding of Greek King Theseus and Hippolyta (McBean and Ritz). They will present a “tedious brief scene of young Pyramus and his love Thisbe.” Peter Quince (Gerilyn Brault) serves as director, casting Bottom the weaver (the hilarious Phil Johnson) as Pyramus and Flute the bellows mender (Nathan Riley) as Thisbe.
Brian Imoto aka Snout the tinker plays the wall keeping the lovers apart, and Savvy Scopelleti (Snug the joiner) the lion.
When this gang enters, singing the old favorite “Sh-boom,” you know you’re in for a fun evening.
Mistaken identities will snarl up the lovers, the play by the mechanicals (who of course win the contest) is cause for much hilarity, and Intrepid’s terrific set (by Michael McKeon) has platforms, curtains, ropes for swinging and a wondrous fine hammock.
This fabulous cast swings off those ropes, does backflips, sings like a dream and runs on and off the stage so much I got out of breath.
Enough said. Do not hesitate. Get those tickets now.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Musical” plays through Aug. 18 at Intrepid Shakespeare Company, 800 Santa Fe Drive (at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of San Dieguito Academy), Encinitas.
Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 4 and 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm.
Tickets: (800) 718-4253 or HERE.
To read more reviews by SDGLN Theater Critic Jean Lowerison, click HERE.